White/Black Lists: A Parenting Friend

Jun 21, 2011

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Today I would like to talk about an underappreciated feature: the white and black URL list. Here is a brief description of what it is and ideas on how to use it.

First, definitions: a white list only allows your kids to view those sites you put on the list; a black list prevents sites (whichever you choose) from ever coming up.

One benefit Net Nanny provides parents is the flexibility of creating different settings for different children. 14 year old Becky can surf the Internet with different rules than 8 year old Chris. In other words, these white and black lists can be tailored to each child, based on individual maturity and needs. You may choose to give your youngest access only to the white list. The teenagers may have free reign, except for those on the black list.

Net Nanny does most of the dirty work when blocking nasty sites, so you don't have to worry about knowing every bad site that's out there. But when it comes to other sites, those that stand in the grey (such as news sites, social networking, etc.), this feature becomes particularly helpful. You can know exactly what sites your kids are and are not visiting because you specified those sites through the white/black list feature (not to mention the monitoring controls which show you where your kids have been).

Another benefit of having white and black lists is that it can be used as a parenting tool. Since the internet has become both a necessity and a past time, it may be unrealistic to forbid kids from going online as a punishment. The blacklist, however, can help parents prevent their kids from visiting fun sites while being punished for some foible of youth. When the grounding is over, you can lift the reigns, but having a black list will make sure that your kids aren't sneaking around when you're not looking. Just make sure they don't have administrative rights on your computer, as that would defeat the purpose.